Spotify has, for years, included some social features that make it easy to share playlists with friends, and even see what your friends have been listening to. But for as long as those features have been around, they’ve never been available in the mobile app. Now, Spotify is finally preparing to bring friend activity to the mobile app with a “Community” feature.
For some background, the Spotify app on desktops – Windows and macOS, specifically – has long featured a “Friend Activity” panel. That tab, when enabled, could show what your Spotify or Facebook friends were up to on the platform, so you could check out songs they were listening to. While not everyone is a fan of the functionality, it certainly has a lot of potential to be fun.
That’s why it was so confusing that most features for Spotify friends were not available on Android or iOS. But that’s soon to change.
In testing now, Spotify “Community” is an expansion of “Friend Activity” from the desktop app.
This new page, confirmed to TechCrunch to be in development, pulls together your friend’s listening activity and updates to public playlists that you’re following – presumably, this would include updates to collaborative playlists you are a part of.
“Community” was first spotted by Chris Messina on Twitter early this month, before Spotify acknowledged its existence this week.
You’ll see either your friend’s most recent song selections, or what they’re actively streaming, with an animated equalizer appearing next to their name if they’re actively listening.
Spotify has yet to roll out “Community” to everyone, but there’s a trick to access it on iOS. Typing “spotify: community” into the Safari browser triggers the page to open up, but it isn’t fully functional just yet. It’s noted that clicking on songs doesn’t start playing them, for instance.
Of course, much of Spotify’s social features still relies on Facebook to be at all user-friendly, so it will be interesting to see if this renewed focus leads to wider social support within Spotify.
Notably, Spotify publicly shot down user requests for exaclty this sort of feature in its mobile app back in 2019, despite thousands of users expressing interest in the idea.
That wouldn’t be the first time Spotify backtracked on future plans.
Earlier this year, the Spotify app for Android started testing a “swipe to queue” gesture that Spotify previously said wasn’t in the works.
Spotify also said that adding offline playback to its Wear OS app was “virtually impossible” less than a year before rolling out the feature.
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